Pre-season gives clubs the chance to build team spirit and there is a fresh feel to Craven Park, including the launch of a table tennis tournament in the home dressing room.
Tony Smith has overseen a major overhaul in the off-season, with 17 players added to Hull KR’s squad for the 2020 Super League campaign.
In the main Smith has recruited young, hungry players and they have had an immediate impact in the early days of pre-season, although it is the older generation that is trying to make its mark on the ping-pong table.
“I’ve been impressed with all of them for different reasons,” Smith told Hull Live.
“There’s just a good vibe about them at the moment. They’ve come together really well quickly and same for the coaches.
“Every pre-season there’s a bit of a freshness but there’s so many young guys and I think it’s freshened us all up – the more senior players have commented on it. I can just see it’s different, and the dressing room is different.
“They’ve got a table tennis table in there and instead of walking in there and all the players going on their phones, they’re having contests on the table and making up their little games.
“Weller (Hauraki) keeps telling me he’s up there as one of the best. I’m giving them a couple of weeks before I even go near it – they need to train first!”
While the early signs are positive for the new group, the true test of the spirit in the camp will come once the season starts.
“It takes every team a bit of time to gel in terms of playing,” said Smith.
“In terms of personalities, they’ve gelled really well already. I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“That helps. If they communicate well off the field and communicate in a positive way that helps on the field, for sure.
“I’ve been around long enough to know players need time to work out each other’s strengths and weaknesses - on the field in the battle.
“You can train as much as you want and try to iron out some things on the training field but it’s often not until you get to the battle field that you find out exactly what people are made of.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re made up of the same sort of character.”
Hull Live has launched a dedicated WhatsApp news service to keep you up to date with the very latest from Hull KR.
If you're on your mobile phone right now, CLICK HERE to sign up for free and make sure you follow the instructions.
If this link doesn't work or you're not on your phone, click here to find out how to sign up manually, and for more info about the service. Your number won't be shared with anyone else in the group.
Follow Hull Live
Our daily newsletter - To get the latest headlines direct to your email inbox every day, click here .
Follow us on Instagram - On the Hull Live Instagram page we share gorgeous pictures of our stunning city - and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow Hull Live on Instagram .